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Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

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88                                  LIFB  OF
Huxnboldt pursued philological studies in addition to
the study of Greek and Roman antiquity; those
studies acquired new impetus in COIXROCJUOHCO of
Alexander's return., for in distant regions lie had not
neglected to cull spiritual food for his brother, and
had, not "without great exertions, discovered ami col-
lected a considerable number of hitherto unknown
grammars of American dialects in tho missions and
cloisters he had visited on his dangerous wanderings.
These he brought home to his delighted brother, an4
only made the condition, before presenting" them
totally into the hands of William, that ho would
occasionally, during the following few years, lojud
these philological treasures to Professor Vator, of
Konigsberg, and to Friedrich Schlegel.
If we consider the persons who at this period
formed Humboldt's circle, or who were brought itibo
temporary relation to it, we must confess tlxat Alex-
ander found a rich source of intellectual and genial
pleasures in Borne- Beside several princes and
statesmen, we need only name Madame do Btaol
and A. W. Schlegel, who lived so near to Humboldt's
that they formed but one house; besides Sclunkel,
Count Moltke, Tiedge, and Frau von. Recke, the
brothers Riepenhausen, Rumohte, Rehfues, Sis-
mondi, &c.
Alexander von Humboldt was called away from
Albano in the summer of 1805 by his studios;
Mount Vesuvius betokened an approaching groat
activity, and an eruption was probable. Humboldt
joined his two friends, Leopold von Buch and Gay-
Lussac, who had come to Italy to observe the
mountain, and was at Mount Vesuvius on tho 12th
August, when a remarkable eruption took place.
With the experience and views of the volcanic
phenomena of the earth which Humboldt had gamed
on his journey, this ascent of Vesuvius in company
with eminent natural philosophers became an instruc-
tive source of scientific knowledge, and while ho
instituted a course of magnetic experiments with